Basketball league seeks volunteers, donors

DANVILLE — Organizers of the Mount Olive Christian Church Youth Basketball League and Junior NBA are looking for volunteers and donations to help them put on their fourth season at Garfield Park.

Nate "BoBo" Smalls and the Rev. Frank McCullough, Mount Olive's minister, formed the league in 2010 to give youth and young adults something positive to do during the summer.

"We're trying to cut down on crime, and this will help keep young people off the streets and out of trouble," said Smalls, who hopes the program will draw close to 600 participants this year.

The summer league is free and open to anyone from 10 to 23. Players will be grouped by age into teams, and named after NBA teams.

Games will be held from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday from June 3 through the second week of August.

Organizers are planning to hold a week-long basketball camp in July. There also will be slam dunk and three-point contests, a talent show, awards ceremony and a cookout at the end of the season.

In addition to teaching basketball fundamentals, Smalls said, coaches and mentors will also work with the players on values such as honesty, integrity, responsibility and respect, and life skills such as communication, teamwork and good decision making.

Sign-ups will be held at the park on Saturday and June 1, starting at 10 a.m. There will be hot dogs, chips and beverages for participants.

Volunteers are needed to coach teams, mentor players and other youth and perform crowd control.

Donations such as bottled water, Gatorade and snacks or money to buy those items will be used at games throughout the season. They can be dropped off at the park concession stand.

"This is a community thing, so we hope that everybody will get involved," Smalls said.

To volunteer or make a donation, call Smalls at 442-0850.

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